Energy

The US Has Been The World’s Energy Superpower Five Years Running

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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President Donald Trump won’t have to do much to make the U.S. “energy dominant” — America has been number one in oil and natural gas production for five years in a row, according to federal data.

U.S. oil and gas production topped Russia and Saudi Arabia, the number two and three producers, in 2016. Americans have out produced their energy rivals since 2012, and continued to do so even as oil and gas prices collapsed.

Moreover, the U.S. is on track to produce more than 10 million barrels per day by the end of the year. U.S. production, largely driven by hydraulic fracturing, could break the all-time record set in November 1970, analysts say.

“The United States has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2009, when U.S. natural gas production surpassed that of Russia, and it has been the world’s top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013, when its production exceeded Saudi Arabia’s,” the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Wednesday.

But Trump may not be satisfied with being the world’s’ biggest oil and gas producer.

Trump’s energy platform largely centered on the idea of “energy independence” and boosting coal, gas and oil production. Lately, the administration’s rhetoric has shifted to stress “energy dominance.”

Trump issued an executive order in April requiring the Department of the Interior to review the offshore drilling plan put in place by the Obama administration. Trump also rescinded an Obama-era order putting huge swaths of Arctic seas off-limits to oil and gas drilling.

Ninety-four percent of U.S. offshore areas were off-limits to all development. Those areas are estimated to hold 90 billion barrels of oil and 127 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Environmentalists didn’t like the order, but the Trump administration doubled down. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order to “jump-start” Alaskan oil production by reversing the Obama administration’s making half of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska off limits to development.

Zinke also ordered Interior officials to update energy resource assessments for Alaska’s North Slope and the “1002” area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“Using this land for its original intent will create good paying jobs and revenue for our Northern-most city and strengthen our energy and national security,” Zinke said when signing the order in May.

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